Teen Drug Use Sees Whites Top African Americans, Asians, Latinos: Marijuana Said to be Increasing in Popularity

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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 8:08 AM

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Quick, name the ethnicity that has the biggest drug problem among its teens.

No not them. No, not them either. Oh stop it, you stereotypers.

A study just published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry found that African America, Asian and even Latino kids were outranked by ... white kids when it comes to drug or alcohol use.

Well, there's one group that outdid Anglo teens:

Native Americans.

The breakdown of kids 12 to 17 who reported using drugs or alcohol in the last year:

-Native Americans: 48 percent.

-Whites: 39 percent.

-Latinos: 37 percent.

-Mixed-race teens: 36 percent.

-African Americans: 32 percent.

-Asian Americans: 24 percent.

The research pulls its numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health vintages 2005 through 2008 (so who knows what teens are into this year).

Still, there are some alarming figures. Thirty-seven percent of all the teens in the study said they had tried alcohol or drugs in the last year.

One-quarter of the young pot users "met criteria for marijuana abuse or dependence," according to the study.

The most popular illicit drug was pot, with more than one in ten teens (13 percent) saying they toked up in the last year.

And despite recent research that suggests the 16-state legalization of medical weed hasn't affected teen weed smoking, "marijuana use has been increasing [among teens] after a few years of decline," according to the researchers.

Maybe the Starbucks retail environment for pot in places like L.A. does have an effect?


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